Link: previous journals - Nov-Dec '05

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Link: previous journals - Feb-Mar '06

Link: previous journals - Apr-Jun '06

Link: previous journals - Jul-Sep '06

Link: previous journals - Oct-Nov '06

Link: previous journals - Dec'06-Mar '07

Journal Page.

May 23rd. I'm off...

I've been struggling with this journal for a while now - you may have noticed...! It's largely because of the format of the thing - i'm restricted to posting using some old software in classic, and the coding of each entry is a bit time-consuming, editing even more so. Plus i can't do it from the mac book, which only runs OSX... anyhow, the upshot is, that i'm off to a new blog here
This stuff will all be archived at this address if you ever want to come and have a trawl through my back catalogue, but in the meantime, i'll see you over there on the new blog!

May 15th. He (still) doesn't look a thing like Jesus...

First of all, greetings to any visitors from dave walker's rather splendidcartoon church site (he blogged a link yesterday) This blog's not nearly as erudite and witty as Dave's, I'm afraid, but I do try to post lots of pictures to make up for it... and so here's some more pictures of Jesus in our dining room, just to prove that he does have arms now... we'll be working on him during the less exciting bits of the cup final on Saturday, so I'm kind of half hoping that it'll be a dull game...





Extension news - no sign of those windows yet.

Radio news - our good mate Big Ed was on radio6 in Nemone's lunchtime pub quiz on Friday (he won) and Monday (when he was robbed of victory by some debatable scoring...) If you go to Nemone's webpage you can use the 'listen again' feature to relive the drama of it all...

Visiting Blackburn news - Last Friday I went to Blackburn to see Craig and Lisa and Susan and helen (and Claire) to discuss some Advent resources that we're working together on. I'll post something soon, hopefully, but it's kind of exciting. One of the things that I've been dreaming of is the chance to do more art-y stuff (see also the lino-cut stations of the cross), and less commercial illustration-type stuff; more of the out-there stuff and less of the bread-and-butter work - of course, long-term, the trick will be in shifting the balance of my work and still making it pay, but in the meantime this Blackburn job really fits the bill...

May 10th. He doesn't look a thing like Jesus...

No more apologies for sparse postings. Been busy. Also, the monastic stuff that we've been doing is bearing fruit - more time spent just 'being' of late, and less time 'doing' stuff [including blog-writing]. Plus I'm spending more time working on the laptop than on the trusty old desktop these days, and for various techy reasons (it's all to do with OS9 and related software) I can't post on here from the macbook... when i can wangle a free day, i'll probably make the switch to blogger or typepad or something more convenient...

Anyway - the monastic thing is good. Learning, very slowly, to be still; exploring the depths of our 'God be in my head...' prayer; discovering solitude; trying to pray; finding a bit more community... but it's also quite tough sometimes. When you're silent; when you've invited God to "be in my mouth and in my speaking" then you find the things that you have said resonating very loudly. It's not easy to be faced with your self, and to be challenged by what you see there... It's a struggle at times, butI really feel that things are shifting, like God's speaking and, at long last, I'm listening. Or at least, I'm hearing the distant echoes of something that's been there for a long, long time...

Extension news! Dan has cut into the house and stuff is going on in the utility room/shower-toilet bit, which is cool. There's a small velux window in and the three front windows are due to be fitted tomorrow, with a bit of luck...

For a few months now, we've been working on a life-size Jesus to take with us to Greenbelt. Progress has been a bit slow, because we've been fitting the work around other stuff, but he's actually nearing completion now - he has arms and everything. Despite the fact that we're quite pleased with him (slightly mutant arms notwithstanding - we're still working n those) Eddie and Joe have thoroughly enjoyed baiting me with renditions of that Killers' song...! These photos are a bit out of date now - I'll post some more up-to-the-minute ones when we can get our new camera to work properly!



No time now to post any other pics, but if you go here you can browse and maybe even buy some of my t-shirt designs - i make between 20 and 25% on every sale, but it all goes towards Gav's Uganda link project and furnishing Justin's house (he had a really bad fall recently, breaking several vertebrae and all the ribs down one side, leaving him unable to do the work that he'd planned - decoration, kitchen-fitting etc) so monies raised are for a good cause and you can rest assured that you won't be funding my debilitating cd habit...


April 19th. Catching up...

Sorry once again for the lack of posts on here recently, but work's been more manic than ever, and the Easter break has complicated things further, what with the kids (and Sue) being off school. If it's a choice between spending free time with the family or typing this journal, then I'm afraid it's no contest...! So here's a round-up of some of what's been going on in the meantime, punctuated by random bits of stuff that I've been working on...



A couple of weekends back we went over to Whitby for a Revive retreat thingy. We stayed at Sneaton Castle which is a pretty wonderful place; good food, lovely grounds, very hospitable, close to the sea, steeped in history... Mark Berry came up to do the talk-y bits, which were great - Mark is a truly top bloke. Sue and I came away feeling very affirmed in our journey thus far, and enthused and encouraged about the next step (even though we have no idea what that might be yet - if you read Mark's blog and find out a bit about his community you'll get an idea of what we mean...) It was good to meet Louisa and Nathan too. A top weekend with some non-league football action thrown in (Mark's a Telford Utd fan, and so Big Ed and I accompanied him to see there game against Whitby Town, which just happened to be taking place that Saturday afternoon. Telford lost 1-0...)


Eddie managed to break his wrist on the first day of his Easter holiday football course... but the following day he manfully struggled on to complete another short animation thing which we then went to see at the Vue cinema later in the week. It's part of the Leeds Young people Film Festival, which is a truly fantastic thing - and totally free. (I do love living here...)


On Easter Sunday Sue and the boys went up to Otley with a bunch of other Revivers for an early morning service, before they all came back here and woke me up for breakfast, and then my folks arrived for lunch. Monday we went out to York, which is always a treat - walked along the river and around the centre for a while, very chilled and relaxed.


Then last weekend we headed over to wales for Gav and Pips' wedding... and a top time was had by one and all. At the receptionDan introduced me to a fellow illustrator, Lizzie Finlay (you can see some of her work here) and her sister Jo and it was really great to talk shop for a while - it's been years since I've done that...!


And so now the kids are back at school and I'm back at the desk, scribbling away madly. Dan is back at work on the extension too, and we're getting into exciting discussions about window design and the positioning of plug sockets and what kind of lights to have... so the end of the building work is in sight (sort of)... watch this space!

Lastly, the monastic thing that we've been doing has been going pretty well, despite Esther's prolonged absence from the communal meal-table... you can check out what we've been discussing and playing around with here... Cheers for now! Si

March 28th. Still busy

Honest.


March 24th. She scares the health out of me.

The other day Gideon Coe played 'Therese' by the Bodines and remarked that for a few minutes he was eighteen again. I felt the same (except for me, it was probably more like feeling 19 and a half...) It's a superb song. I'm an absolute sucker for jangly guitar pop.

I have their album ('Played') on cassette, but I played it to death and it's long since disintegrated into uselessness. Anyhow, for some reason I found myself googling the band today, and found the link to download the track. And now I've bought the lp from an online store. The first vinyl that I've bought in, erm, a very long time. This may well be the start of my mid-life crisis - you heard it here first.

Meantime, heres' just a small number of things that have been on the desk of late...











(See, I really have been quite busy...!)


March15th. Nothing much.

Nothing much to report at the mo. Feeling a little uninspired and yet I have a load of stuff to be getting on with. I was asked yesterday if my job was as creative and exciting as it sounds... this is a question that comes up from time to time, usually when I'm working on something particularly prescriptive and tightly-briefed... So, the answer is no, not really. Sometimes of course it can be fantastic, and I wouldn't want to do anything else, certainly not going back into teaching, for example. But I guess that a job is a job, and my job is illustrating.

The knock-on effect of having lots of paying work to get through is that stuff like the lino cut stations and some Jesus sculptures that I've been working on have gone on the back-burner for the time being. However, I do have these fifteen test prints of Jesus in the Garden (station no.1)


They're just sitting around in the office. So if you'd like one, I'm selling them for a measly tenner each (the funds raised will go towards buying paper etc to print the series proper on) - just send me an email - lino@simonsmithillustrator.co.uk - and I'll send you one back with payment details asap... First come, first served!

Meanwhile, I seem to be doing a lot of black and white line work at present - funny how you get a little glut of similar stuff like this... these have all been on the desk of late...